A palatal expander is a device that is used to widen the upper jaw (maxilla) to create more space so that the teeth will fit together better.
Reasons for creating more space include:
Correcting a Crossbite: Your upper teeth should close around the outside of your lower teeth. A crossbite is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. This happens when the patient has a narrow palate. A narrow palate results in asymmetrical growth of the lower jaw. This can cause facial asymmetry if it isn’t corrected in time.
Reduces overcrowding of the teeth in young children by creating space for the upper teeth to break out into to their correct positions.
Breathing ability. A narrow upper jaw can make it difficult for a child to breathe through their nose. Expansion of the upper palate will improve breathing ability, reducing the need for continuous mouth-breathing that can lead to the inhalation of unfiltered bacteria, dry mouth and halitosis.